Trial Of Jesse Prince
trial was held in Courtroom 15 of the Pinellas County Court
House. The audio of the trial was recorded from the P.A.
system controlled by Judge Michael F. Andrews.
attempts were made to record the entirety of the trial, we were
unable to record the opening statement of Lydia Wardell from the
State's Attorney Office. The state's opening remarks will be
made available in transcript form.
May 23, 2001
deVlaming's Opening Statement
explains to the jury that the arrest of Jesse Prince began with an
extensive Scientology operation that started months before Jesse's
first part of Denis' remarks are missing from the tape but will be
available in transcript form.
Crosby from the Largo Police Department was contacted by
Scientology's Private Investigator, Brian Raftery. Crosby went
undercover into Jesse's home alongside Scientology's PI, Barry
Michael Bruno's Testimony
Bruno was the arresting officer who removed the single marijuana
plant from Jesse's pool area.
Mace analyzed leaves from the plant taken from Jesse's pool
for Judgment of Acquittal
the close of the State's case, Denis deVlaming asked for a judgment
Johnson Appears on Behalf of the PIs
Johnson appears before the judge to address issues raised by Barry
Gaston's plan to plead the Fifth Amendment in his upcoming
Andrews allows Barry Gaston to plead the Fifth.
Gaston was one of the Private Investigators hired by Scientology's
attorneys. He assumed the name "Rinzi
Trinidad" and befriended Jesse and Dee. Gaston became a
confidential informant for the Largo Police, then disappeared after
Jesse's arrest. DeVlaming's Private Investigator, Ray Emmons,
tracked down Gaston. This started to reveal the Scientology
repeatedly took the Fifth Amendment on the stand. He would be signaled
by the raising of a hand from his attorneys, Paul Johnson and Helena
is one of Moxon and Kobrin's key Private Investigators in the
Clearwater area, earning over $180,000 a year for investigating
is another of Scientology's Private Investigators. Gaston
wrote reports to Fabrizio nightly concerning his ongoing operation
May 24, 2001
Over Allowing Frank Oliver's Testimony
of the planned defense for Jesse involved the operation of
Scientology's Office of Special Affairs and the Fair Game
Policy. Frank Oliver had been a member of OSA and was prepared
to testify about the tactics Scientology uses against it's perceived
enemies. The State sought to limit Oliver's testimony.
Oliver was allowed to take the stand and testify with some
About Allowing Rebuttal Witness
State sought to bring Jesse's fiancÚ to the stand as a rebuttal
witness. DeVlaming argued that she should have been used in
the State's main case and not as rebuttal.
Phillips Testifies in Proffer
judge allows Dee to testify outside of the presence of the jury in
order to see the relevance of her testimony.
of Jury Instructions
Andrews takes a moment to discuss which instructions the jury would
to Allow Dee Phillips Testimony
State explains why Dee Phillips should be allowed as a rebuttal
Allows Dee Phillips' Testimony
Andrews decides Dee can testify with a few limitations.
Phillips tells how she and Jesse met "Rinzi Trinidad" and
allowed him into their lives. Jesse, Dee and her two sons felt
"Rinzi" was a close friend until they discovered he was a
State's Closing Arguments
Wardell tells the jury to focus on the law and not be sidetracked by
deVlaming's Closing Arguments
explains why Scientology is such a major part of this trial and
can't be ignored.
State has the final word.
Jury Has Questions
jury deliberated for several hours. Around 8:30 p.m. they had
some questions for the judge. Judge Andrews shared these
questions with the attorneys.
Judge Allows Readback of Testimony
Andrews had the court reporter read back the entire testimony of
Detective Crosby. The readback took over an hour but is
condensed here to about one minute.
Jury is Restless
this short clip, the judge announces that the jury is having a hard
time with deliberations. After Judge Andrews shut off the
audio feed, they discussed the fact that jurors were unsettled and
even getting physically ill. He gave the jury a 20
minute break to go outside the building and relax.
Judge Reads the Jury Instructions on Deadlocks
after the jury returned from their break, they announced that they
were deadlocked. Judge Andrews brings them in to tell them to
give it another try.
Judge Declares a Mistrial
before 10 p.m. the jury returned to the courtroom. Many were
visibly distraught, some had seemingly been in tears. They
announced that they could not reach a verdict.
Andrews thanked them for their service and declared a mistrial.
We thank Judge Andrews for his permission to tape the
to the Main Jesse Trial Page
and Depos General